Julian of Norwich was an English anchoress whose work, Revelations of Divine Love,  is the first book in the English language known to have been written by a woman.

Very little is known about Julian’s life; in fact, Julian wasn’t her actual name – she was given this name as her cell was built on the wall of the Church of St. Julian in Norwich. Many historians believe she was born in 1342 to a privileged family in Norwich, and became an anchoress in her thirties.

During this time, Julian of Norwich suffered from a severe illness, and had a number of intense visions. She wrote about the visions immediately, and this became the first version of Revelations of Divine Love. Over the next thirty years, Julian attempted a more in-depth theological exploration of the visions, which became known as The Long Text, consisting of 86 chapters, and approximately 63,500 words.

From Julian of Norwich to England’s only UNESCO City of Literature, writing is an integral part of Norwich. Discover more at Writers’ Centre Norwich.

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